Bills offensive struggles deja vu for WR Evans Print
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Monday, 11 August 2008 14:23
NFL Headline News

 PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) -Buffalo Bills fans worried about this year's offense initially looking no better than last year's anemic attack aren't alone. Receiver Lee Evans shares the concerns after what he saw in the Bills' preseason opener.
``No doubt about it,'' Evans said Monday, the Bills' first day back at training camp following a 17-14 loss at Washington last weekend. Evans then went down the list of troubles - mental errors, penalties, lack of finish and even a failure to deal with crowd noise during a road game.
``It started to come as the game went along, but it's those mental errors we've got to get rid of,'' he said. ``I think it was a good learning experience for us.''
for Walker on the right side.
``To say he's not a factor would be crazy,'' Evans said. ``He was a big part of our offense last year and he's a very good player. We're missing him but we have to do what we have to do when he's not here.''
As preseason debuts go, the Bills didn't have a very good one, leaving the offense with much work to do preparing for Pittsburgh at Toronto on Thursday.
Against Washington, the Trent Edwards-led first unit managed one first down during two possessions, and settled for a field goal despite opening the game at the Redskins 30 after John DiGiorgio forced and recovered a fumble on the kickoff.
Backup quarterback J.P. Losman and the second-stringers were a little more effective, producing the Bills' lone touchdown - Losman's 16-yard pass to rookie second-round pick James Hardy. Otherwise, not much else productive happened from an offense that finished with 240 yards, converted four of 12 third-down chances, and came away with two field goals and a touchdown in four trips inside the Redskins' 20.
Much more is expected from a unit that finished 30th last season in total yards, and produced a mere 20 touchdowns - the fewest by the Bills in a 16-game season.
Edwards acknowledged the offense struggled, but said it was expected from a unit that's learning a new system under first-year coordinator Turk Schonert.
``After two series, it's really hard to judge. It was tough to get into a rhythm,'' said Edwards, the second-year player who took over the starting job from Losman midway through last season. ``Mentally, going into a game knowing you're only playing two series is really hard to play a football game that way.''
Edwards and the rest of the first-stringers are scheduled to get more playing time Thursday.
Hardy's touchdown was a bright spot, and made up for two mistakes by the rookie earlier in the game. On the Bills' first possession, he failed to adjust his route to take into account the Redskins' blitz, leading to Edwards throwing the ball away. Hardy also dropped a pass over the middle.
``I think at the beginning, I was more nervous. But after a couple of series, I was able to calm down,'' Hardy said. ``Overall, I'm satisfied with what I did as far as scoring a touchdown, but not satisfied with my overall game.''
Peters' absence was also noted when both Walker and Chambers were penalized for illegal procedure during the first two possessions.
``We still have a lot to work on,'' right guard Brad Butler said. ``There were certainly mistakes made, but there were a lot of good things done out there. ... Over all, we'll get better this week.''
 

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